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Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) entrepreneurship programme: How to apply, structure and benefits

TEF is an entrepreneurial initiative founded in 2010, based in Nigeria, spanning across Africa. It is a $100 million entrepreneurship empowerment programme.

If you are in search of ways to fund a business idea, TEF programme is exactly what you require. But before we proceed,  you may also like to check the list of FGN empowerment programmes in Nigeria for further insights.

What is the goal of this foundation?

It was established in 2010 by an entrepreneur named Tony Elumelu – a leading philanthropist whose mindset was to make Africa’s entrepreneurial system better than it used to be.

Credit: Newstage

One of its goals is to provide startup funds for those who want to begin a new business and those who already have businesses. In this way, new job opportunities will be created for all those looking for means of livelihood.

Since inception, this initiative has prepared over 4,470 entrepreneurs with skills needed to excel in their businesses by organizing training and impactful sessions in over 54 countries in Africa.

This programme in its fifth cycle started in January 2019 with the vision of creating yet more impactful businesses, opening more doors for people to apply.

Application process:

The application is free of charge. But first, you need to sign up with www.tefconnect.com if who have not done so.

You should attempt to answer all mandatory questions and upload the necessary documents. Thereafter a confirmation email will be sent to you acknowledging the receipt of your application.

How are candidates selected?

You will be assessed based on:

  • How easy it will be to commence your business
  • How your business can attract both resources and clients
  • Ability to determine who your competitors, clients and market value are
  • Ability to make jobs available and expand gradually

Benefits of the programme

  • Successful TEF entrepreneurs will have access to the TEF Connect platform
  • Engage in business training
  • Seed capital of $5,000
  • Individual mentoring
  • Opportunity to recreate your business entirely
  • Be part of the annual forum
  • They will become part of the TEF network

Who is eligible to apply?

  • Business must be in the early part of development – from 0 – 3 years
  • Citizens and legal residents of the 54 African countries
  • Business must be registered and operated in Africa
  • You must not be an employee of TEF

Programme structure

The application goes in cycles – year after year. 2019 is the 5th Cycle. The application usually opens around January of each year with a deadline on March, 01 of the same year.

What you need to do is to set up a reminder in your mobile phone or Google calendar to let you know that once we enter a new year that you have a big business application to pursue.

Successful applicants for 2019 will be notified on March 22 via email address indicated on the initial application.

Then the successful entrepreneurs will undergo a 9-month programme where they will be thoroughly grounded on a 12-week online business plan development training and mentoring programme, followed by a two-day Bootcamp.

If all goes well, all the entrepreneurs receive a non-payable seed capital investment of $5,000 for their startup businesses.

The entrepreneurs are also entitled to receive $5,000 as a second loan funding to further support their businesses.

What is needed after the final selection?

    • Reference from either an employer or institution of learning
    • A valid identification card
    • Make available bank account details for the business preferably an account from UBA
    • Provide your personal bank statements for 6 months
    • Fill out a self-declaration form
    • Provide current personal debts statement

Tony Elumelu Foundation entrepreneurship forum

Every year distinguished personalities across the continent are invited to come together to network and share ideas on TEF Foundation.

Past years have seen people like – Vice President of Nigeria – Yemi Osibanjo, former President of Sierra Leone- Ernest Bai Koroma, Nollywood actress – Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde,  Vice-President and Treasurer of the World Bank – Arunma Oteh, amongst others – delivered a keynote speech at the foundation.

The most important of all is in 2018 when President of Kenya, H.E Uhuru Kenyata and President of Ghana, H.E Nana Akufo-Addo graced the occasion and had an interactive session with Tony O. Elumelu.

Priscillia Peters

This article was written by Priscillia Peters.